Musical Diary: May 1969

Bulleting up the charts in Australia is Russell Morris with “The Real Thing” on its way to number one and

Bulleting up the charts in Australia is Russell Morris with “The Real Thing” on its way to number one and entering the history books as one of the greatest OZ records of all time. It was the first Australian record to last more than six minutes which meant it didn’t get much airplay when released in March. “The Real Thing” was written by Johnny Young with Ronnie Burns in mind but Go Set magazine reporter, Ian “Molly” Meldrum wanted to produce the record for Russell Morris. Morris had been singing with Melbourne band Somebody’s Image since 1966.

Top Aussie band The Groop were the backing group for the record. Morris went on to have four more top ten hits in Australia with, “The Girl That I l Love”, “Mr America”, “Sweet Sweet Love”, and “The Wings Of An Eagle”.

The New Musical Express reports that album sales have now outstripped singles sales in the UK for the first time.

On the 2nd The Who finally premiere “Tommy” at Ronnie Scott’s in London.

On the 3rd Sly & The Family Stone release the album “Stand”. This was to be one of the best albums of the sixties and propelled the band to one of the USA’s most popular groups. The group was formed when brothers Sly & Freddie Stone combined their both groups, Sly & The Stoners and Freddie & The Soul Stoners in 1967. The brothers completed the line-up with Cynthia Robinson, Gregg Errico, Jerry Martini and Larry Graham. They had 5 top ten USA hits “DanceTo The Music” (their only top ten in the UK and OZ)in 1967; in 1968 “Everyday People” (USA #1); in 1969 “Hot Fun In The Summertime” and another USA #1 “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)”.

Their final #1 was in 1971, “Family Affair”. They were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. The official birth of a new super-group on the 6th with Blind Faith formed, with Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech. They have been rehearsing at Winwood’s Berkshire cottage since February. On the 10th The Turtles performed at The White House, and intoxicated Mark Volman fell from the stage five times.

On the 14th, Fairport Convention have a tragic accident on the M1, North London, after a concert at Mothers in Birmingham when their van crashes and their member Martin Lambie (he was only 19) dies along with Jeannie Franklin a girl-friend of another band member, Richard Thompson. Fairport Convention was one of the most important British bands in the Electric/Folk genre mostly covering Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell songs.

On the 16th at Filmore East New York, Pete Townshend was arrested after an on-stage scuffle with a New York undercover cop. The trouble started during The Who performance and the cop rushed on stage to warn the audience that the building next door was on fire, and as the cop tried to grab the microphone from Roger Daltrey, Townshend kicked him in the groin. Not to be left out John Entwhistle finished him off with a blow across the back with his bass guitar. Townshend was arrested and briefly jailed and bailed out by Bill Graham the Fillmore’s owner.
With The Beatles in disarray, on the 31st, on the last day of their ten day bed-in in a Montreal Hotel, John Lennon and his new wife Yoko Ono recorded “Give Peace A Chance” from their hotel bed. The record was credited to The Plastic Ono Band. Among those who joined in were Timothy Leary and The Smothers Brothers.

The top ten in Australia for May 1969

1. The Real Thing (parts 1 and 2) Russell Morris
2. Where Do You Go To My Lovely Peter Sarstedt
3. Get Back / Don’t Let me Down The Beatles
4. Goodbye Mary Hopkin
5. Proud Mary Creedence Clearwater Revival
6. Aquarius, Let The Sun Shine In The Fifth Dimension
7. Galveston Glen Campbell
8. Sorry Suzanne The Hollies
9. Dizzy Tommy Roe
10. Gittarzan Ray Stevens

# 1’s in OZ 3rd 10th Where Do You Go To My Lovely? Peter Sarstedt

17th 24th The Real Thing (parts 1 and 2) Russell Morris
31st Get Back / Don’t Let Me Down The Beatles
In the USA 3rd 10th 17th Aquarius – Let The Sunshine In The Fifth Dimension
24th 31st Get Back The Beatles

In the UK Get Back, The Beatles was number one for the whole month.

Which of these songs is your favourite?

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